The VENUS Instrument Platform (VIP) at Saanich Inlet is one of the two primary sites containing ocean sensors in the VENUS Saanich Inlet observatory. The VIP is part of the VENUS Observatory, a cabled undersea laboratory for ocean researchers and explorers. Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) is a not-for-profit at the University of Victoria and it governs both the VENUS and NEPTUNE ocean observatory networks off the coast of Vancouver Island. The observatories gather real-time data, signals, and images that are available online for the public, students, and researchers to explore.
The VIP at Saanich Inlet is made of a large steel frame supported by four steel legs and it rests on the seabed at 95m depth. The VIP hosts ocean sensing devices that are changed every year. It currently hosts:
- A CTD recorder that measures ocean conductivity (s/m), temperature (*C), depth via pressure (dBar) and calculated values for salinity (psu) and sound velocity (m/s)
- Two different types of oxygen sensors
- One Gas Tension Device (GTD) that measures the pressure of the total dissolved gases in the water
- A Zooplankton Acoustic Profiler (ZAP)
The information gathered by these devices help scientists better understand natural marine processes and monitor changes, such as those due to human activity and climate change. As discussed on the VENUS website, Saanich Inlet is one of the better-studied marine basins in the world. Scientists are attracted to research in the inlet in part due to its unique plankton-rich environment despite its deep waters and low oxygen levels. Due to this character, VENUS studies in the Saanich Inlet focus on marine ecology and zooplankton monitoring.
The image below, created by Ocean Networks Canada, displays depth gradients in the Saanich Inlet.
The video below shows Zooplankton Acoustic Profiler (ZAP) data recorded in Saanich Inlet from September 1st - December 31st, 2012.
Take a trip to the bottom of the ocean! The public can explore the diverse marine environments off the coast of Vancouver Island by viewing live and recorded video feeds, an endless array of vibrant photos, and direct access to real-time scientific data on the Ocean Networks Canada website. Ocean Networks Canada is dedicated to supporting ocean discovery and technological innovation and is a world-leading scientific research facility. The website, where all of the data is contained, is open to the public 24/7! Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) is a not-for-profit at the University of Victoria and it governs both the VENUS and NEPTUNE ocean observatory networks off the coast of Vancouver Island. The observatories gather real-time data, signals, and images that are available online for the public, students, and researchers to explore.
Related sites on the CRD Green Map:
- VENUS Saanich Inlet Node
- VENUS Strait of Georgia Central Node
- VENUS Instrument Platform (VIP), Strait of Georgia
- VENUS Camera Platform, Saanich Inlet
- VENUS Saanich Shore Station
- VENUS Forensics Experiment
- VENUS Buoy Profiling System
- The societal benefits of Oceans Network Canada (ONC) Observatory
- Why Venus?
- Map of VENUS Observatory
- NEPTUNE Canada - for even more great data, videos, and research in the deep sea, extending beyond the CRD
Please note that the location for the VENUS Instrument Platform (VIP), Straight of Georgia is approximate.
Photo and video credits: Ocean Networks Canada